Cheers to Our Chief HR Officer!
Earlier this year, Beyond Exclamation Magazine named United Way of King County Chief Human Resources Officer Elizabeth Sto. Domingo to its “Top 10 Outstanding HR Executives to Watch in 2023” list.
The business publication credited Elizabeth for being “attentive to enhancing employee experience while positioning the organization for the future.” We recently sat down with Elizabeth to get her take on the current state of human resources in the working world.
United Way of King County: How can workers make the best of what Human Resources has to offer?
Elizabeth Sto. Domingo: People won’t know what we offer if we don’t communicate what the offerings are—a good example is many employees did not know about Employee Assistance Programs until we started to market this benefit.
I believe transparency and communicating these offerings help immensely.
Elizabeth Sto. Domingo (continued): Consistency in our service delivery, in building relationships, and our credibility and trust are all equally important. Employees need to feel safe, seen, and heard when they come to HR.
United Way of King County: What are the current trends in human resources?
Elizabeth Sto. Domingo: We are trending in areas such as Artificial intelligence and automation; hybrid working environments (working from home and in the office); upskilling one’s workforce (teaching additional skills or creating an environment for continuous learning); and people analytics (collecting and applying information about one’s talent to improve outcomes). We at United Way have already implemented many of the above, but we can do more to stay relevant and current.
All the changes we are making in HR are more innovative. For example, we have included “stay interviews,” and we are phasing out exit interviews, which is the old way of doing things. Now, we are trying to learn about any concerns while people are still working with us. And we are changing our compensation structure from the traditional method of grade levels, which is vertical movement, to where everyone has an opportunity to tap into what they want to do when they grow up at United Way.
United Way of King County: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about Human Resources?
Elizabeth Sto. Domingo: One of the biggest misconceptions is that HR is bureaucratic, operates in isolation, does not really listen or act on employee complaints, or that it acts only in the best interest of the organization. I hope we are shifting these misconceptions into one that is more of a partnership to enhance the employee experience.
United Way of King County: What is the current state of Human Resources, particularly as many workers are returning to offices after many worked from home during the pandemic?
Elizabeth Sto. Domingo: The future of work and the desire for flexibility have already altered our work landscape. HR needs to stay on top of these shifts, and pivot when necessary because we play a critical role in navigating and leading these changes to ensure a smooth transition that works best for employees while meeting the needs of the organization.
Our current reality is no longer business as usual. We have to evolve and stay current with the changes. Our policy changes and updates are centered around adapting to the changing work landscape and employee experience
United Way of King County: And how does that come about?
Elizabeth Sto. Domingo: Establishing clear and consistent expectations and boundaries and providing guidance on how to manage these aspects effectively is at the forefront of working through these transitions. More important is listening, staying open, and flexible, and adapting accordingly to the needs of the employees and the organization.
To check out Beyond Exclamation’s article on Elizabeth, click here.